SFI Activist Hacked to Death in Kerala, Nationwide Protest Called in Response
Abhimanyu (20), a student activist of Students’ Federation of India (SFI), was stabbed to death by Popular Front (successor of NDF) – Campus Front members in Kerala, late last night. He was a second-year student of B.Sc. Chemistry at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam and also a member of SFI Idukki district committee.
The accused, members of Campus Front and Popular Front, barged into the student’s hostel and stabbed the SFI workers. Abhimanyu was rushed to the nearby Ernakulam General Hospital but he was declared brought dead. Along with him, two more SFI activists Arjun (19), and Vineet were also injured in the attack. Both of them are undergoing treatment and Arjun is reported to be in a critical condition.
V P Sanu, National President of SFI, while speaking to Newsclick,said that this attack was a part of the strategy of disrupting peace and communal harmony in college campuses. He said that Campus Front had been trying to gain a foothold and make a unit in the college for the past few years, but they had been unable to do so. Although one of the accused had recently enrolled as a student in the College, most of the others were not students, with some being more than 30 years old. Surprisingly, some were also not from Ernakulam district. He went on to say that this points to the planned nature of the assault.
The incident was triggered after a tussle between SFI activists and members of the Campus Front of India (student wing of Popular Front of India) over sticking posters inside the campus to welcome the new students. The new session was supposed to start today but has been postponed, as per the college staff.
Bilal, Riyas and Farroq, activists of the Campus Front have been detained by the police. However, a News18 report mentions that the police have identified more suspects, and at least 15 people were part of the gang.
The Central Executive Committee of SFI condemned the brutal attack by the “NDF (Popular Front) – Campus Front criminal gang” in a post on their Facebook page. It states that the group entered the campus premises from outside with deadly weapons. Abhimanyu and other students resisted them, after which the deadly assault took place.
“NDF and Campus Front has a history of spreading communal venom in society and Campuses. Both RSS and NDF (Popular Front) are the two sides of the same coin. SFI activists had been attacked and killed by the same force in Kerala earlier also,” said the post.
M Swaraj, an MLA from Communist Party of India (Marxist), was quoted in a report by The News Minute:
“We have learnt that only one or two involved in the attack are students. The rest are trained henchmen. You might be aware that such people were involved in an attack against police during the Holy Month of Ramadan in Aluva.”
In response to the attack, the CEC of SFI has called for a national protest day by all its units today, including a state-wide boycott of classes in Kerala and protest meetings across the country. Sachin Dev, Secretary of SFI Kerala state committee, gave a statement quoted by The News Minute:
"We will hold a protest meeting in all district centres on Monday to project the political violence of Campus Front. There was a peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the Maharajas' campus which they distorted. They deliberately created issues for that. SFI would hold meetings in all campuses in all' districts to explain the violence of politics. Also, we will hold a protest meeting in all district centres. SFI has called for shut down of classes in all campuses.”
Sanu also told Newsclickthat after protests by SFI activists in Alappuzha today, activists were attacked by Campus Front-Popular Front members with swords and knives, and some activists were injured and are being treated. Manorama Onlinealso reported that SFI area secretary Naujas (23) and two others sustained injuries and were admitted to Noornaad hospital.
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